Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

On this day ten years ago, you passed from this life into the next. When I think back to that day, and the days following, I cannot even fathom how I went through the motions aside from the grace of God. It was such a surreal time as I sat in your hospital room the day before you passed, knowing your time was short and you were already drifting out of this world. My mind reflected on so many things...every moment of my life up until that point...every moment I would now live without you here...and reflecting that 35 years ago that day you were also in a hospital bed, holding a baby you'd longed for after many, many I had no idea what the future held and I couldn't imagine you not being here to experience it with me.

I miss you daily, but am surrounded by things that trigger sweet memories. My backpack for work sits on a stool that you painted. When I reach for a knife to chop vegetables, they sit in a wooden holder that you painted in a class we took together. I pull a book off the shelf and see the inscription you wrote. And, when the memories that I have surrounding me in my house aren't enough, I go to the local craft store and stroll around the aisles you and I walked together before. Or I pop in a movie that we both loved. Or open a bottle of Pleasures perfume and take a whiff of your signature scent.

I knew my life would never be the same, and after ten years, it surely isn't. I've worked at four different places in the last ten years, but back working with the same team that walked through losing you with me. For that, I'm thankful. God has used your life to mold me for ministry. Somehow I feel that was a prayer you prayed that I may have never known for my ministry to be as vibrant as it is and be grounded in the foundation of the legacy you left me. Losing you showed me the void that so many women have by not having a godly, wonderful Mother like you. Because of that, I've been able to touch the lives of so many young women...more than I could ever give birth to...and hopefully make a difference in their lives. I've stood before groups of women sharing my testimony and teaching, all laced with stories about you and the lessons you've taught me. Your life lives on, Mom.

I've become you. I talk to random people I don't know. I sometimes speak the truth a little too quickly. I cry a bit too easily at sappy movies and books. But, I still haven't finished an of my goals after you passed away. You always made afghans and blankets for new babies and newlyweds. After two failed attempts, I'm on blanket number three and hope third times charm. If you were here, you'd have finished the first two that looked a bit like a failure to me. I long to be more and more like you to keep your remnant alive in this world.

I could spend days, oh really months, with you filling you in on all the things in my life that have happened in the last ten years. I'd sense we'd shed some tears and you'd hold me while I shared the saddest times. And you'd remind me that it's these times where we learn the most about what God is teaching us. I'd want to introduce you to all the people who've come into my life that you never met...but you'd love like I do. We'd laugh about the funny times...oh how I miss your laughter! But as much as I wish you were here, I know you are living in a place that is unlike anything I can imagine and have a fully glorified and restored body....something you left this world without but now you have. I know you are heavenly beautiful...because you were oh so beautiful on earth.

The one prayer you lifted up has yet to be answered...I'm still not married, your one request to the Lord for me. Like your prayers that were lifted up for 18 years for a child, I am not giving up on that longing. You would be happy to know that there is an army of people praying that for me in your earthly absence. Your prayers are continuing. As much for my own desire do I pray that happens one day to fulfill a longing I know you had for me.

Until we meet again in that city that lies four square, my love for you never ends, my Mother, my Rose,

From Your Rose

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Musings for the Week - Sightings, Sweet Compliments and Speaking Engagements

1. I see the most exotic things on my short drive to and from work. My commute went from 30-45 minutes one way to 10-15 minutes one way, but I have to say the view is much more enjoyable. I've seen friendly construction workers along my route waving at the passing rush hour crowd. The wildlife I see is amazing. Chickens....multiple geese...deer. You'd think I lived in the country. During the season when the little geese are born, I normally have to yield to Mother Goose leading her pack across the street in front of my building. Never mess with Mother Goose. One afternoon on the way home, I had to dart to miss a deer crossing the street in the heat of summer, certainly in search of water. This summer we all were. The lunch commutes have also been interesting but not in the happy wildlife way. One day on my way to lunch I witnessed a car accident in the middle of Hurstbourne Lane. Even though I wasn't involved, it was startling. Another day, a car jetted around a line of vehicles waiting to turn left, clearly an illegal move. It was one of those times you wished a cop was around. Well, he was, and took off after him. Three cheers for our local government officials! The most unpleasant sighting? On my way to lunch, I had to go around a car with their flashers on that had stopped in the middle of the road so one of the passengers could, um, er, relieve themselves. Quite non-appetizing on the way to lunch.

2. My blogging has decreased because my life has increased. I have a thousand ideas in my head for content but never time to process and put on paper...or screen...or whatever. One of my distractions is my new Kindle. The end of June I decided to take the plunge and buy an e-reader. Over the last two years my reading has increased, which I love, and costing out the price of books over time and the investment in the Kindle just made sense...especially when the price dropped. The first book I read on my Kindle was The Help. I have a theory about movie theaters...the first movie you see there forever shapes your opinion of the theater...until another movie trumps that experience. As movie theaters go, so goes e-readers. I had heard great things about The Help and thought this was the perfect first read to break in my Kindle. And I chose wisely. That book is one of the few books I've read in a while that I just didn't want to put down. If you haven't read it, do so. I think it should be required reading for high school's just that good. I just finished the second book on my Kindle...Cutting for Stone. A much longer book and although it was a slower read due to all the medical procedure descriptions, it was worth the read. By the end of the book, if you are wanting to shed a tear for the character you've followed throughout this journey, it's a good book. And I did.

3. You know those days when you just need a pick me up? The selfish side of you wants something pleasant and uplifting to fall from the sky. I've had a couple of those moments lately when just that sort of thing happened. Well, nothing fell out of the sky, but I had some unexpected compliments that just made my day. The first time was a few weeks ago at the hair salon. The designers there don't accept tips, which is refreshing, because they hock their products where every sale gets them commission in lieu of tips. After my wash, the designer wanted to try out their new lip tints on me, of which I always oblige where free beauty treatments are involved. As she was applying the color...Verbena...she said "You have got the best lips!" Sigh..I'd always hoped to hear that from the man of my dreams, but nonetheless, it made my day. A week or so later, I was shopping at the grocery for items to make some dishes for the Labor Day picnics I was attending and was in the produce aisle to get some fresh veggies. A lady was next to me on her cell phone and I whipped around her not really paying much more attention to her. Shortly thereafter, she came up to me and said, "Excuse me, but what perfume are you wearing?" I had to admit it was Bath and Body Works...I always wear the lotion or spray. This day I was wearing Warm Vanilla Sugar Spray. She said, "Well, it smells wonderful...and I've had a cold and I can finally breathe!..and that's a very good thing!" Ah, it's the small things.

4. I ordered some supplies yesterday from a shipping supply store for a promotional mailout we are doing. I love my job and if I told you the cool package we're putting together, you would know why. Let's just say it involves silver platters and fake money. If I tell you more, I'd have to kill you. I ordered boxes to ship these said silver platters and as I completed the order, they told me I was eligible for a free gift. What's the free gift? My choices were a Hall & Oates Greatest Hits CD or a Hall & Oates Christmas CD. Now those two options are top of my list of CDs I'm longing to buy...not. I guess that's why they call it "free." I didn't choose either one and figured the supply company could just surprise me.

5. Back in April, I was asked by a sweet friend if I would speak at the women's brunch at her church in September. Her husband is pastor and I've known them for years. Beth grew up at our church and met Jason while he was in Seminary here. I love speaking and ministering to women and having this opportunity is a true blessing. I'll be speaking on the same topic I spoke about at my church's women's conference in March, "Where is God When You are Lonely?" I cease never to be amazed at how God provides these kinds of opportunities from out of the blue. Truly, they aren't from out of the blue, but are sovereignly timed in my journey of ministry.